Scientists have managed to find a way to calm the brains of schizophrenia patients by having them play a type of video game as a calming method.
In an extraordinary new breakthrough, scientists have found a way to use a computer game to help schizophrenia patients relax their brains and reduce hallucinations. It is an important new finding that could lead to new treatments that may help people struggling with the mental disorder.
The small study involved 12 patients who were struggling with hallucinatory events every day. Researchers had them play a simple computer game while their brains were connected to an fRMI locked into the auditory cortex of the brain.
The patients were asked to safely land the rocket, and were not given any instructions beyond that, as researchers wanted them to figure out their own strategies. As a result, scientists believe the patients were able to learn to control their own symptoms through the brain. Similarly, scientists hope that this will help patients feel when the voices in their heads are about to start and then consciously control that hallucination.
“We encouraged our patients to use the same control strategies that they learnt in the MRI scanner at home,” Dr Natasza Orlov from King’s IoPPN said, according to a King’s College London statement. “The patients know when the voices are about to start – they can feel it, so we want them to immediately put this aid into effect to lessen them, or stop the voices completely. Our study has shown that people with schizophrenia can learn some sort of mental strategy to help their symptoms – something which several years of medication has not helped with.”